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Leading on the Edge: Extraordinary Stories and Leadership Insights from The World's Most Extreme Workplace by Rachael Robertson

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Chapter 29      image

‘No triangles’ takes effort and persistence

As I've already shared, we did have moments of conflict and personality clashes. Conflict isn't necessarily a bad thing, however. It's how it's handled that can cause the damage or create the benefit. Conflict can be great for generating a really thorough analysis of an idea or proposal. After all, if not everyone agrees on something, it's valuable to listen to, and try to understand, the differing viewpoints. This can lead to an even better outcome that covers points perhaps not yet considered.

Different strokes for different folks

The conflict that was most challenging for me wasn't caused by the obvious diversity within this disparate group of individuals. There was very little conflict caused by differences between the men and women, say, or the baby boomers and the Gen Ys. These more overt differences (age and gender) rarely caused concerns. The bigger challenges related to the diversity of thinking styles and preferences and the varied types of work experience.

The ‘big picture’, creative, often extroverted types really irritated some of the more subdued, ‘fine detail’, often introverted people. And vice versa. Neither style was better or worse; they were just different, and these differences in style sometimes caused conflict. Throughout winter I committed time with individuals to continue the work we had started ...

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